“To have been born in a world of beauty and to die amid ugliness – is the common fate of all us exiles. !!”
‘Kashmir’, ‘Cashmeer’ or “Kasheer” (as what the natives say), whatsoever nomenclature be used, the semantics remain to be eternally blissful and charismatic.Kashmir – The land of Sufis and saints has continued to render millions speechless with its miraculous landscapes and enigmatic meadows. The hospitality and affection, Kashmiris load you with is a sure sign of their decent upbringing and paves a direct path to their innocent hearts. Isn’t it? Oh! Wait, Am I being illogical!? Or maybe I don’t update myself with what the media show casts? Another possibilty being that I am suspected with amnesia, I had forgotton I am here in this 21st century, not somewhere in the late 70’s or early 80’s.A random survey of people in India with the question “Would you like to go on a week long Kashmir trip with your family?”. Well, the answers did’nt amaze me, they went on like “Are u insane?” “What wrong have I done to you?” While some refused catagorically others openly defied the idea of not touring to the place. Had this survey been done three decades back, majority would have come up with a merriful and a “willful” affirmation!! The question being what changes did the time duration make ? What did it exactly do to rob off the “Paradise on Earth” of its sanctity and sanity.. ?
The venemous fangs of the gigantic demon serpent did sweep off the place with its only native Hindu community – the most celebrated, cherished and loved clan and yet also the oldest civilisation of Kashmir – The “Kashmiri Pandits” famously and affectionately addressed as “Batta” – conveying the meaning of someone who is (learnt and enlightened). As the famous saying goes “History repeats itself ! ” Ask a Kashmiri Pandit and he would nod his head to a positive proclamation. ! But why ? Why has the history been so much cruel to them all ? Why are they in a microscopic minority when they were the only original native clan of Kashmir? Doesn’t a Kashmiri Pandit who has witnessed the last barbaric exile (14 being total as of now) of the 20 th century ask the most basic question to God , what wrong did I do? Why had I to go through such atrocities of time and after all the sacrifices I made and all those peace loving idealogies that I strongly supported, was this – What you had written for me ? Was being a “Kafir” my sole identity when I was the one who blossomed the lap of my motherland with such fondness and devotion. Those at the helm of affairs were mute spectators who did not utter a word or raise voice against the injustice, who acted deaf and dumb to the scenario of human rights being violated. No wonder why they have again started to adopt a mute policy for the woes of Kashmiris. Kashmiri Pandits are the ones who have witnessed a true story of “From Riches To Rags” , haven’t given up , they are the brave warriors who weren’t defeated against time and fate. The world must know, they after undergoing such agony of being in exile for the past 27 years, their cultural and social identity being a question , have risen up tall and strong against all the odds. Their progeny speaks volumes for the whole community itself. Ankita Raina (the tennis sensation) or Kunal Kemmu, Mohit Raina, Anupam Kher. Pick up anyone and see them glowing and blooming worldwide with roots still lying back, deep in Kashmir !!
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